Most fulfilling days in college life


Interview with Miss Chuo winner, runner-up



Contestants wait for the announcement of this year’s Mr. and Miss Chuo.
Contestants wait for the announcement of this year’s Mr. and Miss Chuo.

  The annual Mister & Miss Chuo Contest 2016 was held at the Tama campus during the school festival on November 5, attended by more than 1,100 audiences. Contestants gave various performances including a show of skills in their get-out-the-vote efforts. The hall exploded into cheers and applause when a Mister Chuo contestant tenderly handed a handkerchief to one of Miss Chuo finalists while she was reading out in tears her letter of thanks to her friends and family members.


  Miyuki Higashitsuji, a third grader of the Faculty of Commerce’s Department of Management, won the honorable title of Miss Chuo. Kana Hashimoto, a second grader of the Economics Department, the Faculty of Economics, was the runner-up. Hakumon Herald interviewed the two winners, who have been kept busy since the end of the contest, to ask why they took part in the event and what their future dreams are.



-What motivated you to participate in Miss Chuo pageant?



  Higashitsuji: Hinako Umemura, a Chuo graduate and the leader of popular music band Silent Siren, gave her performance at the school festival last year. At that time, she told us she had an unpleasant experience when she took part in the Miss Chuo contest during her school days but failed to produce a good result. However, Umemura added she has acquired through that experience a spirit of challenge without fear of failure. I wanted to be an assertive woman like her. That was why I made up my mind to enter the contest.

 東辻 昨年の学園祭で中央大学の卒業生で、バンドグループ「サイレント・サイレン」のリーダーを務める梅村妃奈子さんが公演に来ました。その梅村さんから自分が学生のころミス・コンテストに出場したものの良い成果を残せず、悔しい思いをしたという話を聞きました。しかし、梅村さんは失敗を恐れずチャレンジする姿勢を身につけることができるようになったと言いました。私も彼女のように強くなりたいと思い、応募しました。


  Hashimoto: In my case, I had initially thought of joining RP, the student host organization of Mister & Miss Chuo Contest, to get engaged in organizing events. But I gave it up for some reasons or other. For one thing, my assignment at RP was computer manipulation at which I’m not good at all. But I couldn’t put Miss Chuo Contest out of my mind. So I checked the contest results in the past on the Internet. Remembering the thrilling emotion I had when I first saw the contest, I decided to take part in it.


橋本 私は初めにこのコンテストの運営団体「RP」に所属し、イベントの制作に携わろうと思っていました。事情があって途中で諦めました。苦手なパソコンの操作が多かったこともその理由です(笑い)。しかし、ミスコンに携わりたいという未練があったので、ネットで過去のイベントを調べているうちに、初めて見た時の感動を思い出し、応募を決めました。

Live in a way honest with myself



Miyuki Higashitsuji speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald.
Miyuki Higashitsuji speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald.

  -Have you found any changes in yourself after the contest?



  Higashitsuji: I think I have become honest with myself and willing to act without fear of failure. Painting has been my hobby since my girlhood. However, the spray paint I performed on the stage during the contest was my first challenge. Getting advice from Internet video sites and my acquaintances, I had practiced it every day. Almost all contestants including myself challenged performances that looked to be beyond their ability. I think I could give my performance without fear of failure just because I had so many hard workers around me.

 東辻 自分に正直になり、失敗を恐れず、行動ができるようになりました。元々、絵は好きですが、披露したスプレーアートは初めての挑戦でした。自分なりに動画サイトや知り合いにアドバイスをもらい、毎日練習しました。私だけでなく候補者のほとんどはこれまでの自分を超える課題を設定して挑戦していました。努力家の人々に囲まれていたからこそ、失敗を恐れず実行できたのだと思います。


  -What do you mean by being honest to yourself?



  Higashitsuji: I had constantly updated my SNS blog during the run-up to the contest. I was strongly aware that contestants are supposed to be gorgeously dressed and behave in girlish manners. So I always bore that in my mind each time I updated my blog. But honestly speaking, I usually like wearing casual clothes. Moreover, I had an uncomfortable feeling about “behaving in girlish manners”. I find it painful to adapt myself to an ideal image of a contestant. So I dared to begin presenting “my usual self” in my blog. Then, I had a lot of responses from my friends, family members and fans, who all told me, “You look most attractive just the way you are.” They cheered me up a lot. Their comments made my daily activities more enjoyable. I’ve learned from my experience that I shouldn’t behave myself by lying to my heart.


 東辻 期間中、私はSNSで日々情報発信していました。ミスコン参加者は華やかな装い、女の子らしい振る舞いをするべきという認識が強かったのでSNSの更新は常にそれを意識しました。しかし、私は普段からカジュアルな装いが好みです。さらに、「女の子らしく振る舞う」ことにも違和感がありました。理想のミスコン候補者像に合わせているようでつらかったです。そこで思い切って、「普段の私」を発信するようにしました。それからは「ありのままのあなたが一番魅力的だ」と友人、家族、ファンの方々から応援をもらえるようになり、日々の活動が楽しくなりました。自分の心に嘘をついてまで活動する必要はないとこの経験を通して学んだと思います。

Ms. Hashimoto performs Japanese calligraphy at the contest.
Ms. Hashimoto performs Japanese calligraphy at the contest.

-What did you do before the contest?



Hashimoto: I had few acquaintances in the school. So I had to make greater efforts than others to get support from as many people as possible. In the first place, I frequently tried to make my day-to-day life better known via Twitter. I got a lot of reactions each time I posted what I thought were interesting photos and videos. That made my preparations for the contest really enjoyable.

橋本 学内に知り合いがほとんどいなかったので、多くの人から応援してもらうためには人一倍の努力が必要でした。まず、私のことを知ってもらうために、ツイッターで私の日々の様子を積極的に発信しました。私が思う面白い写真や動画を掲げると周りからの反響がありました。おかげで楽しんで取り組むことができました。


  -Hashimoto-san, you performed Japanese calligraphy at the contest, didn’t you?



  Hashimoto: I was accustomed to handling a brush because I had taken calligraphy lessons for eight years from the first grade in elementary school to the second grade in junior high school. But I needed to practice for my performance at the contest since I was supposed to write letters on a huge paper put up against the wall. So I asked the Chuo University Calligraphy Club for help. I am of the nature not to stop doing something until I am fully convinced. I sometimes spent all day holding a brush in my hand. Members of the calligraphy club helped me all the time. I can't thank them enough.


橋本 小学1年からから中学校2年の8年、書道教室に通っていたため、筆の扱いには慣れてはいましたが、本番で披露したのは壁に立てかけられた巨大半紙に文字を書くものだったので練習が必要でした。中央大学書道會に指導のお願いをしました。納得いくまで終わることができない性格なので、時には一日中筆を握っていたこともありました。そんな私につきっきりで指導してくれた書道會のみなさんには感謝してもしきれません。

Most fulfilling period in college life



Miyuki Higashitsuji speaks of her dream.
Miyuki Higashitsuji speaks of her dream.

-What do you think is the charm of the Miss Chuo Contest?



  Higashitsuji: Well, it makes you work hard in friendly rivalry. And you can perhaps meet your life-time friends. In addition to that, it puts you in an environment where you can discover something important which you didn’t know. I really think that the six months from my entry into the contest to the announcement of the result were the most fulfilling period in my college life.

東辻 切磋琢磨し合う、一生ものの友人に出会えること。そして、自分が気づかなかった大事なことを知る環境があることです。ミスコン出場決定から先週の結果発表までの半年間は、大学生活で最も充実した時間になったと心から思います。

  Hashimoto: The charm of the contest is that it gives you an environment where you can grow personally by meeting and communicating with many people. I have become much more sociable than before. Furthermore, the contest gives you a chance to think of your dream in real earnest and get friends with whom you can talk about it.


 橋本 たくさんの人と出会いコミュニケーションをとることを繰り返し、人間的に成長できる環境があることです。私は前よりも断然、社交的になりました。さらに、自身の夢について真剣に考える機会、そしてそれを話し合える友達ができることもミスコンならではだと思います。

Kana Hashimoto speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald at G Square.
Kana Hashimoto speaks during an interview with Hakumon Herald at G Square.

 -What are your future dreams?



  Higashitsuji: I want to become a model. I also want to become a graphic designer by developing my favorite painting into business. I am preparing to make both of my dreams come true. I want to realize my dreams by brushing up the illustration and programming skills which I began learning upon entering Chuo. I will continue my efforts by making the most of the confidence and the spirit of challenge that I have acquired through my participation in the contest.

 東辻 モデルの仕事と、趣味の絵をビジネスにしたグラフィック・デザイナーの夢を両立できるように準備しています。大学入学から独学で始めたイラスト製作、プログラミングの技術を洗練させてその夢を叶えたいです。ミスコンで得た自信とチャレンジン精神を糧に努力を続けます。

Hashimoto: I wrote two words “Progress” and “Dream” in my calligraphy performance at the contest. I will bear them in my mind as I continue my efforts to realize my dream of becoming a TV anchorperson. I’d appreciate your support.

橋本 書道パフォーマンスで書いた「前進」と「夢」という言葉を忘れず、アナウンサー、キャスターの夢に向かって努力を続けます。これからも応援よろしくお願いします。


  -Thank you both.



(聞き手:堀部聡宏、加藤英樹)(Interviewed by: Toshihiro Horibe and Hideki Kato)